U-God – “Venom” review

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Almost 5 years after the release of the highly underrated The Keynote Speaker & with his autobiography coming out earlier this month, Wu-Tang Clan member U-God is returning with his 5th full-length album. The opener “Exordium” brags about his success as an MC over an orchestral beat & the next song “Unstoppable” talks about his longevity over a decent Powers Pleasant instrumental. The track “Epicenter” with Raekwon, Inspectah Deck & Scotty Wotty sees the 4 telling us that the Clan is the central point of hip hop over an sinister boom bap beat from DJ Green Lantern while the song “Bit da Dust” tells the story of someone getting stuck over a DJ Homicide beat that sounds like something the Wu-Elements would’ve produced.

The song “Elegance” is a smooth love tune with a decent hook from Nomdiq while the track “Climate” touches down on the current state of hip hop over some sinister keys & punchy drums. The titular song gets braggadocious & the way he flows over the beat is perfect while the track “Felon” reflects on his criminal past over a Large Professor instrumental with a killer rap rock vibe to it. The song “Legacy” is an ode to U-God’s own legacy & the horns in the instrumental where a nice touch.

The track “Whole World Watchin’” brags about how skillful he is over a gritty horn-inflicted boom bap beat from Lord Finesse while the song “XXX” with Method Man sees the 2 venting about a couple jealous exes they had over a infectious beat. The penultimate track “Jackpot” is basically a Scotty Wotty song since U-God doesn’t appear on it at all & while it’s not terrible, I feel like it didn’t need to be on here. The album then closes with “Wisdom”, where Golden Arms gets insightful over an ambitious beat.

Honestly, this is up there with The Keynote Speaker & Golden Arms Redemption as one of U-God’s better solo albums. The production is mostly on point & lyrically, it’s probably his most mature one yet.

Score: 4/5

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